Midwesterners generally know that a blizzard is more than just heavy snow. Blizzards are life-threatening storms that include heavy snow, cold temperatures, and most dangerously, heavy, gusting wind that blows in strong gusts in any direction, with no particular reasoning. It’s very easy to get confused if you are outside during a blizzard. We’ve all heard the old stories about Aunt Millie freezing to death only 10 feet from the barn she was trying to reach during the blizzard.
Today, we’ll be looking at ways to keep safe in a blizzard when you and your family are at home. There are many things to consider.
Emergency Preparation Kit
At the beginning of the winter, organize the following items in an easy-to-reach place, so if the big blizzard does hit, you will be prepared.
- Water – a couple of gallons per person
- Food – high-energy food that doesn’t need to be cooked, as well as the basics
- Flashlights – and batteries
- Radio – a hand-crank NOAA radio is the best
- Medications – at least a week’s worth of medications on hand at all times
- Cell phone – with backup chargers
- First Aid Kit – fully stocked first aid kit from the Red Cross or similar source
- Supplies – for babies, pets, elderly, or other special needs as necessary
As the Storm Sets In
- Listen to NOAA radio to keep updated on conditions.
- Make sure your family is inside and warm, with layered clothing and plenty of blankets available.
- Bring companion animals inside, and keep them there until the storm is over.
- Settled livestock in for the storm, with all necessary heating accommodations for non-freezing water.
- Check on neighbors, especially the elderly, to make sure they have what they need.
- Close off rooms that don’t need to be heated, even using rolled up towels to block cracks under doors.
Not going outside during the storm is the best policy. Shoveling can wait. If you have prepared properly, there should be no reason to go outside during a blizzard. However, if you must, keep these things in mind.
- Dress in layers, with a good wicking fabric on the inside layer, and a water repellant layer on the outside.
- Always wear good gloves and a hat (preferably a balaclava) to avoid frostbite.
- Wear warm, thick socks and quality boots, also to avoid frostbite.
- Watch for signs of hypothermia, which begin with feeling slightly dazed or confused. Get back inside if you feel this.
Weathering a blizzard is something people from Wisconsin and Minnesota are used to doing. Also, contact your Baldwin Woodville Insurance agent, who will be happy to help you protect yourself in a financial way against damages from blizzards. Finally, after the blizzard, get out and have fun in the new snow!